FORTY8 | Freestyle MX Online Magazine | Startalk with Garrett Ahlf presented by O'Neal
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Interview by Kyle Jones & Tobias Hannig | pictures by Kyle Jones

FORTY8 is well known for its global competence. Our friend Kyle Jones talked with Garrett Ahlf from Bakersfield about how all starts with his passion for FMX and his plans for the future.

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First off, tell everyone out there a little about yourself.
Where your from, age, goals within the FMX community?

My name is Garrett Ahlf I am 26 years old from Bakersfield, CA. I have been riding dirt bikes since I was 12 and FMX since I was 15 professional FMX since I was 19. My goals in FMX as of right now are to have fun. I’m not really interested in doing triple backflip’s and body varial’s to keep up with the gnarly dudes these days. I have my flips tricks and regular tricks that I’m comfortable with and progress at my own speed, basically be better than I was yesterday.

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How did you get your start on riding dirt bikes and what made you want to start riding FMX?

Growing up Me and my 2 brothers thrashed my grandpa’s ranch quad (laughs). Seriously though my friend Kyle Kootstra and his pops rode dirt bikes and I would go with them out to their private track at their dairy and rip it up with them until my parents could afford a dirt bike for me at the age of 12. Ever since then we built a track next door to my parent’s house which evolved into a giant dirt double until my dad built me my FMX ramp in 2001 for Christmas been ripping tricks off that thing forever.

Tell us a some information about your freestyle setup.

Jeff Griffin and I have been building the spot up for the last couple years, as of right now we have 3 ramps 2 landers and a 85 dirt hit. Jeff and I have been pondering the idea of bringing in more dirt to build some hips and stuff because riding ramps have become a routine so to break that up and just have fun we need some different options.

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Do you have anyone out in your area that you prefer to train with?

Jeff Griffin is mainly the person I ride and “train” with. Him and I can push each other more than anyone else I’ve ridden with in town. As of lately though Jimmy Hill and Scott Kranyak have been coming out to change things up and rip it down with Jeff and I which has been fun! Hopefully this winter us 4 can bring some cool and different ideas to the spot so we can film some cool stuff. Jimmy Hill has a secret spot in the Kern County hills that he has been working on that will be a cool and filmable location in the near future, can’t wait to ride out there with him this winter.

Since the tour is winding down. What are your plans for the rest of this year?

The rest of my year consists of one more show with tour in my hometown that I am really excited about. 10 riders and both of the buses will be in Bakersfield at the new Kern Raceway for a contest style format. Riders consist of Kenny Bell, Lance Coury, James Carter, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Matt Buyten, John Distler, Brian McCarty and of course the local’s Jeff Griffin and I. After that I’m just going to focus on my family and riding for fun whether it be at my spot (hopefully build it up to make it a fun place to ride not just hit 1 ramp and practice tricks) and free ride out in the hills. When Christmas is over is when ill start focusing on shows for 2014.

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Are there any shows/tours or contest that interested in riding next year?

Not really. This year I was on the tour and it was a lot of fun and rode some cool demos. Next year is really unplanned as of right now I have some ideas on what’s to come for my future inside and outside of FMX but nothing set in stone.

Do you work a normal day job as well as touring? How big of a roll does that play in training and touring?

Yes I do have an 8-5 job working for my Dad at the family business. It is a blessing that my Pop’s lets me go and do demos and such on the side but it does leave me with little time to practice. I don’t have the pleasure to come home from touring and take a day off to get stuff done around the house that piled up and after getting chores done load up and practice on the week days like a lot of my friends do. My time to ride and practice is on the weekend’s which is my time to catch up with family and such and sometimes spending time w/ family and riding run into each other so I might not even get to ride on some weekends. It makes it hard to stay up with current flips tricks that most guys get to practice during the week and weekends when they are not on the road. I try my best and do what I can with the time that I have. All in all though I am happy with my life and what I have been able to do with Family, FMX and working for the family business.

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What do you like to do in your spare time away from the bike?

In my spare time the wife and I are working on different tactics and business ideas so when I’m done with FMX we will have a future working for ourselves but mostly anytime away from the bike is hanging with family.

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Is there anyone out there you would like to thank?

First off I would like to thank my family and wife for supporting me and putting up with me being gone so much this year from home and from work because without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, also my sponsors that have been helping me out a lot with what I need to get it done during the year big thanks to O’neal MX, Alpinestars, Hart & Huntington, Brady at Shifty Illusions, BLUR optics, Etnies, Dunlop, BLEND designs,, Works Connection, RAM mounts, Wyvern Motosports, UNI Air Filter, GPR Stabilizers.

Okay, now our classical word association - give me the first word that pops into your head:

USA or Europe: USA
Sponsors: AMAZING
Favorite Website:
Tattoos: Painful
50’s: 110’s
Best Trick: Cordova Flip
Biggest success: Backflip
Movie: Constantine
Travelling: Exhausting
Girls: Wife
Day of birth: 25th

Right on – thanks for the interview Garrett – good luck for the future!

More information about Garrett:
Twitter and Instagram: @GarrettAhlf


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